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Kevin P. Tobia
Yale University
  1. Water Is and Is Not H2O.Kevin P. Tobia, George Newman & Joshua Knobe - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    The Twin Earth thought experiment invites us to consider a liquid that has all of the superficial properties associated with water (clear, potable, etc.) but has entirely different deeper causal properties (composed of “XYZ” rather than of H2O). Although this thought experiment was originally introduced to illuminate questions in the theory of reference, it has also played a crucial role in empirically informed debates within the philosophy of psychology about people’s ordinary natural kind concepts. Those debates have sought to accommodate (...)
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  2. Personal Identity.David Shoemaker & Kevin P. Tobia - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford:
    Our aim in this entry is to articulate the state of the art in the moral psychology of personal identity. We begin by discussing the major philosophical theories of personal identity, including their shortcomings. We then turn to recent psychological work on personal identity and the self, investigations that often illuminate our person-related normative concerns. We conclude by discussing the implications of this psychological work for some contemporary philosophical theories and suggesting fruitful areas for future work on personal identity.
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  3.  37
    How People Judge What Is Reasonable.Kevin P. Tobia - 2018 - Alabama Law Review 70 (2):293-359.
    A classic debate concerns whether reasonableness should be understood descriptively (e.g., reasonableness is what is common) or prescriptively (e.g., reasonableness is what is good). This Article elaborates and defends a third possibility. Reasonableness is a partly descriptive and partly prescriptive “hybrid concept.” Experiments reveal that people apply reasonableness as a hybrid concept, and the Article argues that a hybrid account offers the best general theory of reasonableness. -/- First, the Article investigates how ordinary people judge reasonableness. Reasonableness sits at the (...)
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  4.  27
    Personal Identity and Moral Psychology.David Shoemaker & Kevin P. Tobia - forthcoming - In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  5. Normative Judgments and Individual Essence.Julian De Freitas, Kevin P. Tobia, George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3).
    A growing body of research has examined how people judge the persistence of identity over time—that is, how they decide that a particular individual is the same entity from one time to the next. While a great deal of progress has been made in understanding the types of features that people typically consider when making such judgments, to date, existing work has not explored how these judgments may be shaped by normative considerations. The present studies demonstrate that normative beliefs do (...)
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  6.  47
    Experimental Philosophy and the Philosophical Tradition.Stephen Stich & Kevin P. Tobia - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 5.
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  7.  44
    Does Religious Belief Infect Philosophical Analysis?Kevin P. Tobia - 2016 - Religion, Brain and Behavior 6 (1):56-66.
    One popular conception of natural theology holds that certain purely rational arguments are insulated from empirical inquiry and independently establish conclusions that provide evidence, justification, or proof of God's existence. Yet, some raise suspicions that philosophers' and theologians' personal religious beliefs inappropriately affect these kinds of arguments. I present an experimental test of whether philosophers' and theologians' argument analyses are influenced by religious commitments. The empirical findings suggest that religious belief affects philosophical analysis and offer a challenge to theists and (...)
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  8.  27
    Disparate Statistics.Kevin P. Tobia - 2017 - Yale Law Journal 126 (8):2382-2420.
    Statistical evidence is crucial throughout disparate impact’s three-stage analysis: during (1) the plaintiff’s prima facie demonstration of a policy’s disparate impact; (2) the defendant’s job-related business necessity defense of the discriminatory policy; and (3) the plaintiff’s demonstration of an alternative policy without the same discriminatory impact. The circuit courts are split on a vital question about the “practical significance” of statistics at Stage 1: Are “small” impacts legally insignificant? For example, is an employment policy that causes a one percent disparate (...)
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